Angelfall by Susan Ee is a post-apocalyptic story following Penryn and her family as they try to navigate this new world of avenging angels bent on destroying humanity. Angelfall is the first in a three book series, with Angelfall staring out as a self-published novel.
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
I really enjoyed this book – the premise was intriguing and I found myself really engrossed in the story. It’s a very action-packed adventure and the post-apocalyptic state of the world is a really interesting backdrop for Penryn’s story.
There was an excellent cast of characters, from Penryn and her mother (off her meds crazy!), to Obediah and Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum in their resistance camp, to Raffe, the wingless angel. Each character brought a new and interesting aspect to this story. In a way, this whole story felt very reminiscent of The Walking Dead, in that the world is in chaos and people are doing basically whatever they want, and it’s a bit dog-eat-dog/survival of the fittest/smartest.
Penryn herself proves to be a very interesting heroine. I enjoyed her commentary of each situation she found herself in and I appreciated her strength and worried along side her at the desperate situations she got into.
Overall, this was a really entertaining first book to a series. The ending does really hit you (with a cliffhanger), and I felt compelled to read the next book. I haven’t, yet, but I definitely plan on doing so (despite the pretty terrible reviews I’ve seen for the two following books 😅)
Literary Value: 3/5
Was this a super well-written book? No. But it wasn’t terrible. Now, I’m not too sure about formatting elements, since I listened to the audiobook, but as far as the dialog and writing style, I found myself really enjoying Ee’s writing.
I found her character development to be good – no one seemed one-dimensional or predictable, which is great, especially for an fast-paced action story! I also found the pacing to be just right. Things happened quickly, but there were plenty of quiet moments in between that let the characters open up a bit and the story to have some weight to it.
I never found any one moment to feel odd or out of place, so I don’t have anything negative to say, really. It was a well-written story that I enjoyed.
Entertainment Factor: 4/5
I had a lot of fun with this book. And since I listened to the audio, I want to give props to the reader of this book, because I really enjoyed her narrative voice and Penryn really felt real to me, partly because, I think, the narrator was so good! So I definitely think I owe some of my enjoyment to the audio production.
Otherwise, I loved this action-packed story. It had lots of epic, fist-pumping moments, but it also had some really sweet moments, some really creepy moments, and an interesting romance development (and I’m not sure where it’ll go). I think if you enjoy apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic stories, this one will definitely have appeal. I’ve never read a story that involves angels (other than James Patterson’s Angel Experiment series, but that’s a bit different). So I found the angel element to be interesting, since it was new to me. It was definitely one of the elements that I enjoyed the most, since it was an aspect of world-building that I hadn’t seen before.
Cover Art: 3/5
I think the cover is okay. I kind of like the metallic look of it. It definitely looks like a product of an apocalyptic event! I like that it includes the pair of wings on the cover, since the wings are an important aspect of the story. I think the overall look is aesthetically interesting and if I were looking at this book on a display, my eyes would definitely be drawn to it.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Angel Wings
I didn’t know what to expect starting this story, but I was really drawn into it right away and I think the adventure/survival aspect of it really appealed to me. I really liked the characters, especially Penryn. I think she was an excellently written main character and her thoughts and opinions were really funny/interesting to me. I also thought the story was well-paced. I wish there wasn’t such a cliff-hanger ending, but this book, to me, seems like the type of series that one must read straight through to get the satisfaction of the ending.
I will probably read the rest of the series, since I did enjoy this book. I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy action stories, especially ones that take place in an apocalyptic setting.
Thoughts & Thanks
Thank you so much for reading my review! I hope I’ve helped aid you in your decision to read this book. If you have read it or if you’re thinking about reading it, let me know what you thought in the comments! And as always, happy reading!